DSLR KAP..how hard?

Ramon spotted a major flaw in the DSLR lashup straight away. I thank him for pointing this out,  for I could have got in deep trouble flying my D70 on an unmodified Brooxes ‘Basic’ rig. After some initial success with it fitted with IR shutter release I was quite prepared to get the big camera  aloft at the next opportunity and start mucking about with radio control. The ‘Basic’ AutoKAP rig by Brooxes is a ‘starter’ rig and uses a direct to servo attachment for the suspension: the servo casing takes the entire load of the rig, it’s only made for small compact cameras not beefy DSLRs! It would have been inevitable that under the load of the D70 the Picavet would, sooner or later, part from the servo followed by the rapid loss of the camera to the forces of gravity.  Hanging a DSLR off a 2mm screw thread into nylon is not a safe fixing!

Fortunately I have an almost complete Brooxes pan gear set in the spares bin so I can uprate the suspension and enjoy Brooks Lefflers engineering cleverness; all the holes I need to convert to a Basic rig to a Deluxe are there ready for me!

The Brooxes Deluxe spindle is (I think) a 75mm long M4 bolt. This is missing from my pan gear set and proves to be a hard thing to find so I used a 70mm M5:

The sleeve ensures the gears mesh, and it is a right fiddle working out the correct length; it is 6mm ally tube cut to 33mm long. The bolts are all nylock. In the final ssembly I used 2 washers at the bolt head. The holes for the axle have to be drilled out to accept the bigger bolt. It’s a tricky thing to put together because the nuts have to be tightened against each other on either side of the gearwheel and again on either side of the picavet cross. Brooks has left enough clearance in the assembly to to thread the washer, spacer sleeve, nut, gearwheel and lock nut through the cage with room to get a spanner in: thank you!  70mm is just enough to get the top (Jesus) nut tightened down flush to the end of the thread..whew!

It is  geared at  2:1 for AutoKAP. This will give about 30 shots to the circle, at 5s per shot this’ll be about 3 minutes a sweep. All up weight of camera and rig is now 1.2kg.

Reassembled and flown the D70 is faced with another dull day:

but the resolution is lovely! This thing is heavy to fly and I don’t think I’ll be using it too often because of this.  I used a Lifter which, even at 4m2 in about a 6mph NEatsterly, was struggling with the load.

AutoKAP with the D70 is going to be fun when we get some decent light and wind to work with, even though I filled a 1Gb card in about half an hour with muddy shots of the turf while I was waiting for lift, the detail resolvable in the few aerial views of the Greyhound I got is most pleasing. (Sadly the pub isn’t at all pleasing, it’s been closed for ages).

Still it works well and I’m ready for the next stage which will involve (along with a bigger CF card) rebuilding the the tilt stage ( in carbon fibre ?)  to get the CoG of the camera aligned properly, then it will be good bye wing nuts and hello tilt servo!

All parts supplied by KAPshop with the exception of the M5 bolt!

More on Brooxes rigs here

About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
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4 Responses to DSLR KAP..how hard?

  1. Ramon says:

    Now that looks much better, Bill (the rig, I mean).

  2. Ramon says:

    Yep, ever considered a Rokkaku? Have a look at our friend Gerrit Barts new toy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vliegerfototerschelling/5509658205

  3. Clive has a magnificent 3m Rok http://www.flickr.com/photos/bblakecambridge/5404720911/in/set-72157619011588296/ which is a tremendous lifter, something of a handfull in anything above Bft 2 though, Gerrit is definitely wise in using a winch; it can pull like a train!

    This is the big camera/big kite problem: it looks like you loose a lot of freedom to move.

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